(All photos: Stittsville Central.ca)
Saturday was an exciting day for the Goulbourn Museum staff and board of directors. The newly revitalized permanent exhibit of ‘The Village General Store’ was officially opened. The exhibit has been re-built and a pane of windows has been installed in front of the general store area allowing you to peer in as if on the outside. In the past, children and adults would often hope that one of the window treasures in a general store would become theirs. An interesting twist – the pane of windows is on wheels, allowing them to be moved when other activities take place at the museum.
A lovely array of hand-made tatted lace is uniquely displayed over the cash register and service counter. This lace was donated to the museum by a local resident who had downsized her home prior to moving to Hazeldean Gardens. Many items from the past are displayed – hats, dry goods, canned products, medical creams and supplies and an old 700 lb. safe in the corner (replacing the frig that had previously held this spot).
The original general store exhibit had been in place for eight years and was the first interactive exhibit for the museum bringing much amusement to all who visited. However, the museum staff felt it was time for the area to be refreshed. The construction, after much planning, began in January, 2019. Many local business and tradesmen contributed to the re-building of the exhibit – if not with labour, then with products.
This new exhibit adds to the overall fresh and openness atmosphere in the museum. With newly painted walls, hand-made barn doors and re-fitted glass display cabinets (usually used for holding books) the general store has taken on a whole new feeling, but with the contents remaining as you would have found in the past. Everyone in attendance at the opening ceremony was in full approval of this new feeling in the museum and the new exhibit.
With activities set-up for the children and everyone given time to tour the new ‘Village General Store’ and other areas of the museum, it was time for the official ribbon-cutting. Doing the honours were, Tracy Donaldson, Museum Manager and Exhibitions Curator; Zoe Flanders, longest standing Kits’ Club member; Linda Preston, Museum Board of Director’s Vice-Chair; and, Glen Gower, Councillor Ward 6 Stittsville. Councillor Gower brought a message on behalf of Councillor Scott Moffat, who could not attend due to other obligations, congratulating the museum on behalf of the City of Ottawa and wishing every success with the new exhibit.
Left to right: Tracy Donaldson; Zoe Flanders; Linda Preston and Councillor Glen Gower, Ward 6 Stittsville)